President accepts resignation of EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt

Kristoffer Tripplaar  Sipa via AP

Kristoffer Tripplaar Sipa via AP

Noting that Pruitt's resignation "should be welcome news to anybody who values clean air and water", Earthjustice president Trip Van Noppen concluded in a statement on Thursday that it "does not close the chapter on the Trump administration's continuous assault on commonsense environmental safeguards".

Mr Trump confirmed Mr Pruitt's resignation on Twitter, saying he had done "an outstanding job". I have no doubt that Andy will continue on with our great and lasting EPA agenda.

"We have made tremendous progress and the future of the EPA is very bright!" he tweeted.

Meanwhile, CNN reports that Pruitt keeps a secret calendar he uses to hide meetings with industry executives, attorneys, and climate-change-denying cardinals charged with multiple instances of sexual assault. Other allegations of Pruitt's excessive spending and his use of EPA aides to find his wife employment - including an attempt to secure a Chick-fil-A franchise in Tulsa, Okla. - soon piled on and frustrated conservatives. The president did not mention any of the more than 12 investigations into Pruitt's potential ethics violations. In fact, he penned an op-ed in January 2017 in which he lauded the former Oklahoma Attorney General as the ideal man to undo environmental regulations put in place by the Obama administration. He was also found by the Government Accountability Office to have violated federal spending law when purchasing a $43,000 soundproof phone booth in his office. Pruitt defended himself against numerous allegations, saying that people are creating controversy because they are against his and the administration's agenda at EPA. It's still unclear. What we do know: His replacement, Andrew Wheeler, holds views similar to Pruitt's. Pruitt said his $50-per-night condo lease from an energy lobbyist's wife received ethics approval from the agency, though the EPA's inspector general's office said its review was based on incomplete information.

This week, Kevin Chmielewski, a former EPA deputy chief of staff who was sacked in February, told MSNBC news that he saw Mr Pruitt pay back a young member of staff US$600 she had been forced to put on her own credit card for hotel rooms for Mr Pruitt's family during the celebrations for Mr Trump's swearing-in ceremony.

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Despite Pruitt's short tenure, he was able to have a big impact on environmental policy, rolling back protections from former President Barack Obama's tenure.

"Scott Pruitt was the worst EPA administrator in the history of the agency". Pruitt is the seventh person to leave a Cabinet-level post in the Trump administration.

Pruitt faced harsh criticisms from House lawmakers over them during April appearances before Congressional committees, where he discussed the EPA's budget.

Trump said he had been discussing Pruitt's exit for a "little while". "The environment doesn't need deregulation, we need more regulations to protect the environment. this should not be a partisan issue", she said.

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